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Rhodes a game-day decision; Steve Sabol RIP; Louisville favored (duh); Collins Hill QB commit starts well

Back from a furlough day. Not much gripping out of Camp Mitch today...

Junior running back Kedrick Rhodes sat out practice again Tuesday with his right foot or ankle injury. FIU coach Mario Cristobal said whether or not Rhodes would play would be determined on Saturday.

This is just me, but a back who has failed to finish two consecutive games; has an injury bad enough to hold him out of practice consecutive days; and going into the last non-conference game with eight consecutive conference games to follow -- the first two of which are five days apart -- adds up to us more likely to see Lonesome Rhodes than Kedrick Rhodes on Saturday.


This is a blog on FIU's sports, but, let's be real -- football is the only sport that consistently moves the needle here. One of the men responsible for football's place in our national fabric, NFL Films' President Steve Sabol, died Tuesday at 69 from brain cancer.

Rare is the sports-loving U.S.-raised kid who didn't dream of making a dramatic game-winning play in his sport to be replayed in slow motion with big, thundering music as a soundtrack. That's because for the last 50 years, NFL Films showed us how you can tell a game's story through a filmic package as dramatically as Hitchcock tell could the story of a man with a broken leg seeing the aftermath of a murder. Football's violence and athleticism gained a balletic beauty filmed by Sabol-directed cameras and backed by Sam Spence's music, then a poetic nobility in John Facenda's or Harry Kalas' narration of Sabol-written scripts. Especially in the days before 27 highlight shows run endlessly into Monday morning, we saw the league through NFL Films half-hour shows like Game of the Week or NFL Action.

I dealt with Sabol only a few times over my 23 years at The Herald, but enjoyed each conversation immensely. I think he did, too, as another football history junkie with a long memory. 

Several months after the last time I talked to him, the Dolphins were late in the 2010 season and the story idea well of me, Jeff Darlington and Armando Salguero was as dry as the team we were covering. I pulled out my iPod and portable speakers for some NFL Films music just because, why not? Suddenly, Jeff had two good ideas. I had one. Armando had a few. Ideas flew like spirals across an NFL Films screen. We laughed at the coincidence.

Coincidence, my 12E. RIP Steve Sabol, master salesman and muse for generations of NFL afficianados.

This classic piece of music and narration originally accompanied images in "The Championship Chase" NFL Films' 1974 season highlight video. 



The line on this game opened with Louisville as 11-point favorites and has quickly moved to 13 or 13 1/2-point favorites depending on the sportsbook. The over/under, however, went from 59 to 57 or 57 1/2.


The first two weeks for Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill quarterback Brett Sheehan, an FIU commit for 2013: 26 of 40 for 291 yards and two touchdowns plus stood in for the head shot that gave his team 15 yards and set up the game-winning field goal as time expired; 22 of 25 for 275 yards and three touchdowns passing and a 40-yard touchdown run.

So, not bad. 


Obviously, this won't happen this season and it's long been discussed. But, soon, FIU plans to turn FIU Soccer Field from a north-south to an east-west field and put a track around it, thus giving the track team someplace on campus to at least practice. The project (estimated cost: $3 million) still needs to go up for bid.


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